Birmingham Freed Men’s Aid Association

#Slavery #Abolition #Emancipation #Freedom #HumanRights #BlackAmericans

The Iron Room

The plight of those freed from slavery by the American Civil War first came to the attention of the Ladies Negro Friend Society for Birmingham and the surrounding area in 1862. It called for contributions to be sent from Britain to provide aid. The scale of the need at that time was not well understood, but by 1864 it had become clear to the Society that there were severe shortages of shelter, clothing, hospitals, medical care and free employment for the hundreds of thousands of emancipated slaves who travelled northwards, leaving vast numbers destitute or dying.

At the 39th anniversary meeting of the Society in May 1864, the chair put forward a proposal from a member of the Erdington branch of the Society,

…that a ship should be freighted with stores and sent to the United States.

(40th annual report of the Birmingham Ladies Negro’s Friend Society,  1865, ref…

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